We lost a beloved member of my family just over a week ago. It was sudden, unexpected and heartbreaking, but we're all getting through it with the love and support that our close family has always had. My Papou, or grandfather in Greek, was a quiet, honest man who always had a happy grin on his face. He loved his family, his friends and a chunk of good, crusty bread with every meal.
Because of this, I find myself keeping close to my Greek roots today. I've got a Greek food blog to show you called Souvlaki for the Soul. Peter is the Greek photographer and writer behind the blog, which happens to be named after something near and dear to my family, souvlaki.
A popular Greek dish, souvlaki is a kebab made with skewered pork, lamb or chicken and marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and Greek oregano.
Every year my church holds a Greek festival called Glendi. My Papou would always work in the souvlaki tent, grilling hundreds, possibly even thousands of skewered chicken and pork souvlaki to be devoured by the masses. It was something he always enjoyed, and we loved being able to look up at him, happily grinning and grilling until every last souvlaki was gone.
Peter has a phenomenal method for making souvlaki, so simple it’s barely even a recipe. He serves them in these gorgeous chickpea flatbreads, made from scratch. His patates sto fourno, or “potatoes in the oven” are also dressed with lemon, olive oil and good Greek oregano, a perfect accompaniment to the souvlaki and chickpea flatbreads.
I hope you'll try these recipes in your own kitchens. They're the epitome of simple, pure Greek cooking and would also make one heck of a dinner for any night spent grilling outdoors, just like my Papou used to. Here's to you, Papou, a little souvlaki for your beautiful soul.